By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – Grapeland Sandiette Hailee Sheridan drove in three runs as she helped power the Grapeland Sandiettes past the Lovelady Lady Lions by a final score of 5-2 on Tuesday afternoon. The win moves the Sandiettes to 5-0 in District 21-2A and keeps them a half-game ahead of the Slocum Lady Mustangs.

The game started off with the Lady Lions taking an early lead after Sydney Price opened with a single off of Grapeland Sandiette pitcher Cadie Belle Currie. Currie struck out the next two batters she faced but Price was able to move into scoring position on a steal and crossed the plate on a double from MaLanta Wiley to make the score 1-0.

After Currie coaxed her counterpart in the pitcher’s circle – Amber Mikes – to ground
out to end the inning, it was the Sandiettes’ turn.

Taylar Mullen led off for Grapeland and drew a walk. After Diamond Maines-Dunn struck out, Mullen stole second and third and trotted home on a sacrifice fly from Hailee Sheridan to even the score at one.

Mikes held the Sandiettes there and then turned the game back over to her offense. It looked like Currie would have an easy inning after she struck out the first two batters she faced but a sharply hit single from Kaiden LeMaire followed by an error on the Sandiettes gave the Lady Lions the lead once again by a count of 2-1.

After Mikes held the Sandiettes in check during the second inning, Currie returned to the circle in the top of the third and seemed to have a renewed sense of urgency as she retired the side in order.

The Grapeland offense came alive in their half of the third as they put up four runs to take the lead. KeKe Harris led off with a bunt single and advanced to second on a bunt from Mullen.  Both Harris and Mullen moved up a base after Mikes walked Maines-Dunn.

With the bases juiced, Sheridan settled into the batters’ box. She looked at a called first strike and then slapped a double into left field to score Harris and Mullen and give the Sandiettes a 3-2 lead. The Sandiettes tacked on another run when Currie hit a bloop double down the third base line that just caught the chalk and was ruled fair.

Currie’s hit brought Maines-Dunn home and made the score 4-2. Sheridan moved to third on the play and Reagan Bishop came in as a courtesy runner for Currie at second base.

Back-to-back lineouts from the Sandiettes were followed by back-to-back walks as Mikes issued a free pass to both Madi McCombs and Hayley Reed which pushed Sheridan across the dish and made the score 5-2.

After the Lady Lions managed to get out of the bottom of the third, they threatened to come roaring back in the top of the fourth. Lovelady loaded the bases with one out and appeared to be in good shape to close the deficit but an unassisted double play from Mullen dashed any hopes the Lady Lions might have of a comeback.

The Sandiettes threatened to blow the game wide open in the bottom of the fourth, but Mikes held the home team in check and after four complete, the score remained 5-2 in favor of Grapeland.

Both Currie and Price, who relived Mikes in the bottom of the fifth, worked 1-2-3 fifth and sixth innings.

The Lady Lions mounted a brief threat in the bottom of the seventh but it was to no avail as the Sandiettes held on to win by a final score of 5-2.

Currie picked up the win as she went the distance and allowed two runs on seven hits, with seven Ks and no walks.

Mikes took the loss after three innings of work. She gave up four hits allowed five runs, struck out two and walked four.

At the plate Grapeland was led by Hailee Sheridan who was 1-2 with three RBI. Taylar Mullen was 2-3 with two runs scored.

For the Lady Lions, Kaiden LeMaire was 3-3 with a run scored and MaLanta Wiley was 1-3 with one RBI.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.